Indian Editors Guild concerned over sensational report on death of former chief minister

21:58, January 08, 2010      

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The Editors Guild of India Friday expressed concern over some news channels' reports about the circumstances leading to the death of a former chief minister, which has led to attacks on the stores of Reliance group owned by the Ambani brothers, reported Indo-Asian News Service.

The news reports suggested that former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who died in a chopper crash on Sept. 2 last year, could be killed in a plot by the Ambani brothers, two of the richest men in the world.

Andhra Pradesh police have registered cases against owners of the Telugu TV channel TV 5 for airing a "baseless and malicious" report about an alleged conspiracy behind Reddy's death, which sparked violence in Andhra Pradesh and attacks on Reliance stores, said the report.

"Such reporting is sensational in nature and goes against the basic ethics, standards and principles of journalism. That such reporting triggered some violence in certain parts of Andhra Pradesh is highly unfortunate," the Guild said in a statement.

The TV 5 story was based on a report on a Russian website that alleged the Ambani brothers were behind the helicopter crash.

Police said notices would also be issued to other TV channels that aired the story after TV 5 began telecasting the report Thursday night, according to the report.

"It may be pertinent to reiterate that news organisations should exercise all possible rigor and cross-checking of facts, source and motivation of the information before disseminating it in public," the Guild said.

Source: Xinhua
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